CBS execs meet with transgender activists to promote positive TV portrayals
HOLLYWOOD, July 1, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Unhappy with “problematic” portrayals of transgender characters on fictional CBS television shows, homosexual activist group GLAAD recently descended on the network’s headquarters to air their complaints in a meeting attended by CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler and at least a dozen senior executives.
The meeting was led by Nick Adams, who was born female but is living as a man, and currently serves as GLAAD's Associate Director of Communications.
In Adams’ view, getting positive TV coverage for transgender people is critical because “the vast majority of Americans have no personal connection to someone who is transgender, so they rely solely on the media for information.”
Adams gave a presentation on transgenderism to the CBS brass, then played clips from recent CBS programming that GLAAD believes promote an “anti-trans” bias.
GLAAD suggested ways that network execs could alter storylines in the future to be more affirming of the transgender lifestyle.
“GLAAD is hopeful that this meeting will encourage more inclusive, sophisticated, and realistic portrayals of trans people on CBS, and we're committed to working with the network to ensure that happens,” said Matt Kane, GLAAD's Associate Director of Entertainment Media.
The GLAAD activists were upset with the network in part because of a February 11 episode of CBS sitcom Mike and Molly, in which the main character mocked a friend for his past habit of finding sex partners on the street:
Carl: It's been a long time since I've trolled for bus pass a--.
Mike: (Laughing) Not since the shemale incident of '08. You spent the whole night crying and gargling!
Carl: Learned a lot of lessons that night.
At the time, GLAAD blogger Matt Kane described the exchange as “an offensive scene predicated on the hateful notion that transgender people are inherently disgusting.”
Kane also complained that the fact that it was a main character making the joke gave “the anti-transgender sentiment…an added layer of validity.”
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GLAAD also complained about a December episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, in which a cross-dressing man in a sparkly dress was arrested and taken to a police station for questioning. When an officer checked his driver’s license and read his name as “Josh McClure,” the man became angry and insisted his name was “Joslyn,” then claimed he was pregnant.
An officer asked him if he’d been drinking, provoking a violent response. It took multiple officers to restrain him; most of these called him “Joslyn,” but one called him “Sir.”
Later, McClure had a psychotic break, claimed the baby was coming, and stabbed himself in the stomach with a pair of scissors repeatedly, killing himself.
Afterward, a detective reported, “Hospital said our pregnant transvestite was D.O.A.”
In an op-ed criticizing the show, Adams objected to the use of the word ‘transvestite,’ calling it “disrespectful and inaccurate, since the simple fact that she referred to herself as Joslyn suggested she lived as a woman.”
Adams also complained that the doctors in the autopsy scene refer to McClure as a “male Caucasian” and use male pronouns to describe him. “Male pronouns are used no less than 11 times during a short 1 minute, 13 second scene,” wrote Adams. “The characters also refer to her as ‘delusional,’ and it is unclear whether they mean that she was delusional for thinking she was a woman or for thinking she was pregnant. Or both.”
At the GLAAD/CBS meeting, Adams presented a number of suggestions to improve the public’s view of transgender people, such as expanding the role of “Ms. Hudson,” a transgender character played by Candis Cayne on Elementary, as well as seeking out transgender contestants for popular reality game shows like Survivor, The Amazing Race, and Big Brother.